It’s official: Philly will host the first-ever social justice bike share conference

The goal of the conference will be increasing equity and access for bike share.


A year after getting Indego, Philadelphia is already showing its bike share prowess. The city is holding the inaugural Better Bike Share Conference June 22-24, the Mayor’s Office announced today.

The goal of the conference will be increasing equity and access for bike share. City officials, social justice advocates and other experts will discuss how bike share can help resolve issues in the community, from adding jobs to reducing violence to increasing fitness. This is new. Other bike share conferences have focused on data and technology.

And it makes sense for Philadelphia this accessibility-based conference, given its unique status in the bike share world.

Though Philly was a late adopter to bike share compared to other major U.S. cities, it differs from the rest in its emphasis on serving lower income communities. Indego is the lone bike share system in North America that allows riders to use cash. In April, it started a program allowing people with Pennsylvania ACCESS cards membership for $5 a month and added 24 more stations, including in North and West Philly.

“The City of Philadelphia is committed to ensuring equitable access to our Indego bike share system and all modes of transportation,” said Clarena Tolson, Philadelphia’s Deputy Managing Director for Transportation and Infrastructure, in a release.  “Bike share has the potential to transform mobility, improve health outcomes and increase access to opportunity. It can only reach its full potential if it reaches people of all demographics and incomes.”

About 100 people are expected to attend the conference. If you’re interested in going, you can register here. The city encourages anyone working in bike share and community development fields to attend.

Indego first launched in April 2015. By the end of the year, 8,300 people had signed on for memberships and 421,000 rides had been taken.

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